Agencies act quickly to control oil spill in Southeast Utah

MOAB – On Wednesday morning, the Bureau of Land Management Moab Field Office was notified by SW Energy and the Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining of a leaking oil well in the Salt Wash field south of Interstate 70, approximately 12 miles southeast of the town of Green River.

In response, the BLM dispatched technical staff to investigate and assist with containment of the leaking fluids.

 leaking oil well in the Salt Wash field south, southeast of the town of Green River, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management
Leaking oil well in the Salt Wash field south, southeast of the town of Green River, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

With regulators on site from the BLM, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, and the Environmental Protection Agency, SW Energy worked to contain the spill and attempted to shut-in the well.

Containment and back up berms were put in place to slow and capture the fluid, much of which has been removed by vacuum trucks and disposed of in a state approved disposal facility.

SW Energy successfully shut-in the well at approximately 1:20 p.m. on Thursday.

“The BLM is taking this matter very seriously.  We are working cooperatively with SW Energy, the State and EPA to assess the extent of the spill and will work on assessing impacts to natural resources” Juan Palma, BLM-Utah state director, said.  “We were able to catch this incident and act quickly to contain the leak and minimize the potential impacts to the environment.”

The BLM, Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining, and oil and gas operators inspect sites regularly.

The BLM will continue to update their website as damage assessments are completed and corrective action plans are prepared and implemented.

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